The Spirit and the Word, working together, call us to take notice of the Bible’s corrective instruction in our lives, be obedient to what it tells us to do, and be changed more into the image of Jesus!
From Glory To Glory
But there is another important lesson to remember about what the Bible reveals. It is the temptation to see (and judge) others with the Word, instead of applying what we learn to our own lives first. It is too easy to get caught up in our opinions of what we think others ought to do with the truths of Scripture, and completely miss the opportunity for the Word to change our own lives first.
Second Corinthians 3:18 also describes God’s Word as a mirror: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” In this mirror, we see the image of Jesus Himself.
When we put this scripture together with James 1:23-25, we learn an important dynamic of how this scriptural mirror works.
The Word shows us the image of Christ so that we will measure our character and conduct by HIS standards, and then allow God to shape us more and more into His image. When we allow ourselves to be changed by the mirror of God’s Word, we will end up being of more help to others than if we spent our time trying to correct them (see Matthew 7:1-5).
This process brings us fully into the “law of liberty’ (James 1:25), a life lived and shaped under the power of God’s amazing grace, and then used to help others!
Armed And Ready
“And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” (Eph 6:17).
In Ephesians 6:10-18, Paul outlines the armor that every good soldier of Christ ought to have with him constantly. This armor should not just be something the soldier carries; but by constant use, it should become familiar equipment that he skillfully uses.
The Holy Spirit revealed to Paul that believers are in a constant state of warfare. They are wrestling not against other humans “but against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). Because this is true, God has given us five defensive pieces of armament (Eph 6:14- 17), and one weapon for both offense and defense. This one special weapon is the “sword of the Spirit” – the Word of God.
Satan’s strategy from the beginning of time has always been to question God’s Word. Satan sows doubt in people’s minds, appeals to their “reason”, and tries to tempt them to not take God at His Word by faith.
In Genesis 3:1, Satan approached Eve in the garden of Eden with the opening line of ”Hath God said …” He used the question to cause her to doubt a simple, straightforward command from God. She then began to question the command God had spoken, until she convinced herself that she did not need to obey it. The results were devastating for all of mankind from that day forward.